Mr. Vice President, first congratulations for the bold decision to quit the Democratic Progress Party (DPP). Whether the intentions are out of patriotism or egoistic desires for the top office, is immaterial for now. Disassociating with the DPP in itself, is a sane democratic decision you have made. The reasons you have outlined this far cannot be argued much. Of course, we cannot avoid wondering why now not then after all the four years you have been with the party.
In all fairness, you have also failed Malawians a great deal for being part of the presidency for four years. In 2014 you mounted a gallant campaign coaxing us to trust your duo as Malawi’s development change agents. On your succession to the office of the presidency, many expected more from you. Your private sector experience gave Malawians hope that you would bring some transformation in the way government transact its business.
I will keep reminding you that you have been part of the presidency that has miserably failed Malawians for the past four years. When analysing issues and situations, time and context matter. Leaving DPP now, and not then is received with mixed reactions. Of course, the reasons you have given are what many Malawians consider the downside of the DPP which had a sound developmental manifesto in 2014, but has delivered less.
For a good four years, you were part of the DPP-led government that has failed Malawians. Fortunately, you recognise this in your denunciation of the DPP. However, some keep wondering when exactly you did realise the rot in DPP, for as far as we are concerned, the four years have been associated with a litany of agonies and complaints by Malawians. Some Malawians are worried why you did not stand behind them long ago, and you had to wait until few months to elections.
The issues you outlined to Malawians on June 6, have been the ever ending outcries from Malawians in all the past four years of your vice- presidency. Notwithstanding what others have called the ill-timing, your acknowledgment of the challenges Malawians are facing sets you apart from the self-glorified politicians.
In all your speeches, you have consistently and repeatedly stated the need of having a development vision for Malawi. True to that! However, you are not the first to state the importance of a national vision. Actually, we already have such visions in government policies. For instance, Vision 2020, Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, Malawi Growth and Development Strategy I, II and III among others. All these documents contain wishful aspirations for the type of Malawi we want. As such the issue is not very much on having a common vision for Malawi, but the will to bring the vision into reality.
Mr. Vice President, you have been part of the government machinery that has put aside well-drafted policies just to implement politically driven policies such as the Malata Subsidy. For instance, this year’s national budget parallelism to the MGDS III development priorities is baffling. Having the vision is not enough, but a well spelt implementation strategy and political will is what we lack.
If you are insinuating that you are a visionary and transformative leader Malawi needs, we have few expectations from you. We need a clear articulation of your vision for Malawi and its implementation plan. We would be afraid of any potential candidate who speaks in cryptic language. We need a change agent that will move us from dreaming the future to realising the present. We have had enough of political wishful thinking; we want action. We know what we want to help us with the how to get there.
That said, Mr. Vice President, in your subsequent public addresses, we anticipate a well-articulated vision of what you want to do differently for Malawi and how. Remember you are not a political analyst or commentator, to keep reminding us of the situation in the country. From you we expect to hear more of how you plan to execute the envisioned change in Malawi.